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Class And Status

Nathan, Alex, Josh and Harry

What is a stereotype?
A widely held but fixed and oversimplified image or idea of a
particular type of person or thing. This image or idea may not
reflect reality accurately.
What is status?
Status is the Relative social or professional position.
What is class?
Class is a system of ordering society whereby people are divided
into sets based on perceived social or economic status.
Different Classes
Upper Class
The social group that has the highest status in
society, especially the aristocracy.
This social group are usually:
The wealthiest members of
More powerful members of
Common upper
Land Owners
Well Spoken
Self centred
Education at top schools
Old money
Like classical music
These are some of the most commonly
used upper class stereotype areas
Comparison of upper-class representation in
TV dramas
Downton Abbey
Downton Abbey uses a series of ways to
represent class and status:
When the camera is on Robert Crawley the
camera points up slightly this represents that he is
superior, the revers of this is when the camera is on
Gwen Dawson it points down this represents that
she is inferior and therefore has less status.
Another way is the audio, when the Lord of
Grantham is in shot the audio is more elegant and
classical whereas if any of the workers are in shot
the audio is more relaxed. Tis represents the divide
and shows how the workers were classified as
inferior and therefore not worthy of such elegant
Merlin also uses a variety of techniques to
represent class and status:
As with Downton Abbey the camera always
looks up when Uther is in shot and looks
down when the workers are in shot.
Also present in Merlin is how the editors have
applied different filters depending on which
social class is in frame, for example there will
always be a dimer filter when the workers
are in shot as this represents their lack of
class and status compared to the upper
class members of the castle. It tries to
represent their lifestyle and outlook on life.
Middle Class
the social group between the upper and working classes,
including professional and business people and their families.
This social group are usually:
Average to well payed
Relatively well off
Common middle
Successful small businessmen
Relatively well off
Like modern type music
Own a decent house
Self made
Church goers(America)
Fairly well educated
Conscious of other peoples perceptions
White collar

These are some of the most commonly
used middle class stereotype areas
Comparison of middle-class representation in
TV dramas
Modern Family
Modern Family uses a series of ways to
represent class and status:
In Modern Family class and status is
represented by the fact that everything is
normal, for example the manner in which they
dress, the types of confrontation that occur
and most other aspects of their lives.
Another way in which the status aspect is
represented is that when the parents are in
shot the way they are dressed is superior, this
gives the audience a sense of who has more
importance (status).
Gavin and Stacy
Gavin and Stacy also uses a variety of
techniques to represent class and status:
In Gavin and Stacy the way the characters
dress and their lifestyle is used to represent
class for example Gavin is a sales person
(middle class) and thus is quite normal and this
is used in the show to represent his status in
society, the contrast of this is Smithy who is a
builder, this is linked to the way he talks, dresses
and behaves, his social class (working) is made
fun of in the show, as he is not in a desirable
position but is however enjoying his life
Working Class
the social group consisting of people who are employed for
wages, especially in manual or industrial work.
This social group are usually:
Employed in manual or
industrial work
They generally have a low
disposable income
working class
Sporadic employment
School dropouts
Low level of education
Rely on government money (benefits)
No hope for a better life
Live in high crime areas

These are some of the most commonly
used working class stereotype areas
Working-class representation in TV dramas
Stella uses a series of ways to represent class and status:
The way the characters look, talk and dress is a crucial factor towards the representation of class and
status as for example Stella always wears simple casual clothes where as Michael wears suits, this
shows the viewer who is from which social class (in this case working and middle) the characters are
and what status they have.
As said before the social class and status is also represented through the way the characters speak for
example Stella and her family generally speak in a village accent and use slang words, whereas
Michael and his family speak in a posher and more sophisticated accent and use little to no slang